Effective Onboarding Equals Improved Employee Performance and Retention
Last month we discussed the importance of having a great onboarding process for your new employees. Without proper onboarding about one-third of new employees leave the company within their first 6 months! Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune creating a good onboarding process and you can easily get started on improving your process today!
Seven Steps for a Great Onboarding Process:
- Have the new employee’s workstation ready to go
Having a “home base” that is ready for your new arrival is crucial to an employee’s first impression of your company. As a new employee, nothing is worse than not having the tools you need to be successful. Setting up the new employee’s computer, email and phone numbers ahead of time along with making sure they have access to any programs, software or electronic files they will need can help a new colleague feel valued from day one.
- Prepare colleagues for the new employee
Prior to the new employee’s first day, send an announcement to all employees. The announcement should tell them the new employee’s role, a bit about their experience, what they’ll be doing at your company and encourage other employees to welcome them. When employees are aware of a new staff member ahead of time, they can be prepared to assist them on their first day. This will go a long way to making the new employee feel welcomed.
- Make introductions
Schedule time for the new employee to meet with key people and departments on their first day. Although they may not remember everyone’s name, this will give them a good overview of where to go to get what they need. These introductions will also help them understand how your company works and how their role contributes to the overall picture.
- Plan a team lunch
Arrange a lunch meeting or after-work gathering for the new employee and their immediate team members within the first week. This will help break the ice and allow the employee to get to know their new colleagues in a relaxed environment. You don’t even need to leave the office for this step – employees can bring their lunch and gather in a conference room. When an employee feels valued by their team on both a personal and professional level, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
- Allow plenty of time for training
During the first few weeks the new employee should focus on training. Even if the employee has performed the same job function elsewhere, there are bound to be differences between companies. Your training should cover company rules, processes, procedures and expectations. Assigning a mentor from the employee’s department can also help them acclimate to their job by giving them a person who is ready to answer their questions and walk them through some of their assignments.
- Make new hires feel like business partners.
Employees thrive in entrepreneurial settings, which make them feel like they’re invested in the company. This means giving them freedom in and ownership of their work. Show them how their job connects to corporate goals and the overall success of the company. When you do, they’re likely to perform at a higher level.
- Be Transparent and Don’t forget to follow-up
Have open communication channels in your boss-employee relationships. Let your staff get familiar with what’s going on in the business and how their work impacts their customers. Give them a chance to have input and suggest ideas. We recommend having 15-30 minute touch base meetings on Friday between the manager and new employee weekly for the first 100 days. Trust us, it is time well spent. Even if the employee is doing well and you feel like they don’t need an evaluation, meet with and lithem.
The first few weeks are the most influential to a new hire’s outlook on your company – positive or negative – and sets the tone for their relationship with your business in the long-term. Now its time for your homework! Grade your current on-boarding process, and if you give it a C on a curve, it’s time to implement a few of the ideas above.